When you’re a writer, words are your life. You live for words. You think of words. You dream of words. You listen to words, speak words, and write words. Sometimes, if you’re a writer like me, you realize that you have too many words. You occasionally use too many, sharing too much. But hopefully, this is a rarity.
Today, my mom and I went to watch the movie, The Words. I’d wanted to see it since I saw the preview before watching Ruby Sparks last month. My mom wanted to see it because I wanted to see it and stories about writers always give her hope for me and my dreams of writing.
The movie was phenomenal. I was touched by so many emotions, concerned for so many of the characters. The notion of plagiarism is actually quite close to me these days. I’ve been working on my essay about students who cheat in Ukraine. Most of mine didn’t come up with any original thoughts for their essays, do some copy and pasting, and type their name out at the bottom. I hate this practice and I told them daily how I didn’t respect anyone who would do that. And then I watched Rory Jansen, a struggling writer find the manuscript and retype it, wanting to feel the words flow through him. I can’t actually imagine doing this. I’ve been awed by great writers and I absolutely love reading Tina Fey’s book and any of David Sedaris’s essays. I feel like these are the writers that would get me and in an alternate universe would let me be their apprentices. But I can’t imagine trying to paste my name on their work and call it mine. It would be so… un-me. I once had a friend in grad school who said, “I can really hear Sharece in her story and I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.” My voice has always been evident in my writing and in my opinion that is a very good thing.
I like that I’ve watched two movies about writers this summer. These movies give me hope for my dreams and make me want to push myself to keep writing, editing, and polishing my work. I am a writer. I work to perfect my words. I’m not worried about stealing another person’s words but in making sure my words are chosen carefully and directed at the right people. I think that’s got to be one of your main goals as a writer. Choose your audience. Write for them. If you’re close to some people and yet you know that they won’t appreciate your words, forget about them. You can’t please everyone. You’ve just got to pay attention to the ones that truly matter. And most of all, you’ve got to be honest to yourself.